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A libertarian year in review for Florida

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The year of 2013 is ending and on Wednesday we ring in the year of 2014, so we thought it would be appropriate to review some of the anti-libertarian laws forced on Floridians in 2013.

For example, the Florida legislature and Governor Rick Scott enacted a law effectively banning not just internet entertainment arcades, however also all computers and smartphones. In their quest to quell the free market in Florida and eliminate an estimated 15,000 hard working Florida jobs from the market, the Republican controlled legislature overstepped their intent to put an end to senior's ability to entertain themselves as they wished, they also banned the use of computers and cell phones for game use.

The Florida legislature and Florida Governor Rick Scott also embarrassingly enacted the anti-free market Senate Bill 294 which prevents an individual to ingest a wider range of substances for their personal use. It matters not if the substance is sold for legitimate purposes, if someone in Florida uses certain substances in a matter not of their intent, that person is going to jail. Mind you, there is no clause in the new law to prove that person has violated the rights of another or if there are any victims involved in any way. As well, much of the sensationalized media coverage was overblown and found to be false as it relates to so-called bath salts and other "synthetic marijuana". As is common in the Florida legislature, there is more interest in passing laws based on emotion than the facts.

The interior design lobby appears to be one of the strongest in Tallahassee. Over the years they have successfully kept those not designated as a 'design professional' with a license from the State of Florida from earning a living. This year they took their power to a whole new level by utilizing the Florida legislature to absolve themselves from liability should anyone be hurt as a result of their incompetence.

The State of Florida also enacted its so-called ban on texting and driving. The statute is full of holes and so far has been useless as law enforcement has written very few tickets for the violation and those that have been written have been deftly dismissed by smart traffic attorneys. There has been no proof it has improved the safety of anyone in Florida as touted by its sponsors and co-sponsors.

Governor Rick Scott also created more red tape for the Office of Economic and Demographic Research with the intent of creating more accountability. Most libertarians would like to see the office closed as it amounts to little more than taxpayer funded corporate welfare, creating winners and losers.

But it wasn't all bad for Floridians in 2013. The Governor did sign Senate Bill 92 which enacted some guidelines for law enforcement's use of drones to collect evidence against suspects. Though the bill is not perfect from a libertarian perspective, it is better than most in the nation.

This is only a small sample of the loss of freedoms for Floridians in 2013. You can review more here.

The 2014 Florida legislative session begins in March with a bevy of new regulations lobbyists and bureaucrats wish to force on Floridians. The Florida Republican controlled legislature seems opposite of their stated message which is to be about small government and the free market, as they vote for legislation that expands the Florida government and restricts the free market. In 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the largest state budget in Florida's history.

Florida Governor Rick Scott will face Libertarian Adrian Wyllie and whoever wins the Democrat's primary in the 2014 race for Governor. It is rumored U.S. Senator Bill Nelson may file to run against Charlie Crist for the Democratic primary.

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